Is there such a thing as Healthy Pizza? Maybe.

Pizza crusts can be as creative as is preferred. Lately we hear a lot about cauliflower crusts; we’ve made them with English muffins, flour tortillas, and even small rye bread for an appetizer. The best crust I’ve recently found is for a deep dish pizza pie. If you’ve a ready made pie crust on hand that works! Pillsbury sells Pizza in a can and many places now sell the dough. One of our favorites is Boboli thin crust.

We tend to stay with vegetables, and particularly the Margherita pizza. Think heirloom tomatoes, artichoke hearts, good olive oil, fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese and salt, pepper to taste.

One of my long-time favorite homemade pizzas is from a cookbook by the late Evelyn Lauder. In Great Taste: Fresh, Simple Recipes for Eating and Living Well.This book has more than 125 recipes for healthy food, including many smoothie recipes.  Her pizza recipes are what have been my favorites since the book was published in 2006.

Pizza Dough

Makes 2 Pizza Shells

 

INGREDIENTS

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus extra for the counter.

1 package active dry yeast

2 tablespoons salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 1/4 cups warm water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for the bowl and plastic wrap.

DIRECTIONS

Mix the flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl and make a well in the center.  Pour the water and oil into the well and mix with a wooden spoon until most of the flour is incorporated. Use your hands to mix until a soft dough forms.

Turn the dough onto the floured counter and knead for 10 minutes. Put the kneaded dough into a slightly oiled bowl, brush the top with a little warm water, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Set said in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, about 40 minutes.

Punch down the dough and knead on a floured surface for one to two minutes.Divide in half and roll each half out to form a 6-by12-inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.

 

Ricotta and Fresh Herb Pizza

Lauder said this delivers a good balance of protein and calcium.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 cups chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley, chives, mint and basil

   Grated zest of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped garlic

8 ounces low-fat ricotta cheese

   Extra-virgin olive oil

   Kosher salt

 

DIRECTIONS

Prepare the pizza dough

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the herbs, lemon zest, and garlic in a small bowl

Place each pizza shell on a baking sheet and spread evenly with the ricotta.Spoon on the herb mixture, drizzle with a little oil, and season with salt. 

*Sometimes we add thinly sliced heirloom tomatoes.

Bake for 12 minutes - or - 2 to 4 minutes in the Baker Stone Box until the crust is golden.

 

SIDEBAR

Our household loves Pizza almost as much as good coffee. Scary to many I know. Partial to thin crust, lately we’ve loved Brick Oven and Marketplace Pizza’s.

We still like to bake pizza at home from time-to-time. Enter BakerStone Original Pizza Oven Box. We picked it up last weekend, for us it’s a match made in heaven. 

Normally we have baked pizza in our Wolf Toaster oven, and it saves us from so much heat in the kitchen, especially during the summer. This Oven does more.

We were happy with ‘homemade’ on occasional nights. Now? Instead of 15 - 20 minutes in our toaster oven, pizza is ready in two to four minutes. Two to four minutes.

Shocking to us, but it gives ten extra minutes in the evening. We purchased a Sam’s 11” Thin Crust, it made the pizza crisper and everyone loved.

This Pizza Oven Box will need a gas grill or gas oven. We used on a gas oven, and it was perfect. Perfect.

What is the difference? The radiant heat allows the pizza to bake evenly, actually raising the temperature to that of a real wood burning pizza oven.

Visit BakerStoneBox.com for more information.